Isabel Lewis | Performance Space New York

Strange Action

lewis forever

“Isabel Lewis is a fierce and fiercely smart choreographer and dancer.” – Claudia La Rocco, The New York Times

“Lewis’s Untitled Solo (Sweet Exorcist) contains poetic, powerful imagery and energy.” – Eva Yaa Asantewaa

This piece is about the peculiar act of performing.
This piece is about the possibility of making a solo that is not a dead end to autobiography and identity politics.
This piece is about Mr. T, headbanging, and Nicole Kidman.

STRANGE ACTION: a solo in three seemingly unrelated parts

In Isabel Lewis’ premiere evening-length solo show she resurrects her depiction of Mr. T, using him and a few other icons as the unexpected reference points of a discussion by way of performance about the strange act of performing itself. Making minimal use of stage design and media elements Lewis tightens the focus around the presence of the performer in an anti-gesamtkunstwerk, using language and movement to frame her interplay of associations and disassociations. Drawing on a range of references from B.A. Baracus to Beckett, Lewis weaves a circuitous narrative about altered states, imagination, connectivity, process, and fiction.

Concept and Performance by Isabel Lewis
Dramaturgy and Performance by Josep Maynou

Isabel Lewis is a Brooklyn and Berlin-based dance artist and curator from the Dominican Republic. She is a graduate of Hollins University (USA) where she majored in both Dance and Literary Criticism. In 2004 Isabel formed The Labor Union along with Erika Hand and presented work at the Cunningham Studios, Dance New Amsterdam, Dance Theater Workshop, Danspace Project at St. Mark’s Church, Dixon Place, Movement Research at Judson Church, PS 122, and The Kitchen amongst other venues in Manhattan and the outer boroughs. Isabel now creates solo work, performs with her family art collective LEWIS FOREVER and with Ann Liv Young. She has also had the honor of working with Miguel Gutierrez, David Neumann, Levi Gonzalez, and Crystal Brown. Isabel was a Movement Research Artist in Residence and a Fresh Tracks Residency Recipient in 2005-2006 and was selected to take part in the Meeting Points Artist Exchange in Budapest in the summer of 2008. She has worked as an editor and writer for the Movement Research Performance Journal and was the curator for the dance series, Body Blend, at Dixon Place from 2005-2009. As a curator Isabel has also worked on the Movement Research Festival 2004: Improvisation is Hard and the Movement Research Festival Spring 2007: Reverence (Irreverence) as well as Re-Imagining Utopia, an Austrian and NYC artist exchange, a project of Movement Research (NYC), the Austrian Cultural Forum (NYC), and Tanzquartier Wien (Austria).

Josep Maynou studied Fine Arts in Barcelona (UB), Porto (Facultade Belas Artes Porto) and London (Middlesex University). Maynou has shown his work all over Europe highlighting Getxo Arte in Bilbao, Strip Art and Sala Pares in Barcelona, Galerie Eva Bracke in Berlin and Maoshabitos in Oporto among others. He has been working in different artistic fields and is now focused on media art often collaborating with Berlin-based media artist Arturo Steele. Reusing images and giving them new meanings, he creates visual collages which function as a continuous whole, as complete films unto themselves. The visual and rhythmic coherence of his films, achieved through a process of careful editing, makes reference to the manipulative power of audio-visual media. This process of recycling also leads to installing his work in different contexts such as TV repair shops, warehouses, abandoned spaces and second-hand stores.

Photo by Arturo Martinez Steele

This performance was supported by a Commission Grant from the Jerome Foundation

World Premiere
June 3 – 6, 2010
Thu – Sat at 8PM, Sun at 6PM
Late Show: Sat, June 5 at 10PM
Thursday Night Social: June 3
$20, $15 (students/seniors)
ONLY $11 with a PS122 Passport
Find out more

Freak the Room

freak the room

freak the room

What happens when we freak the fiction of cultural and familial identification? There is play and fantasy. There is sex and violence. There is an impostor. Words seem to come out almost right. Reactions test their relationships to actions and everything appears as more than it seems. LEWIS FOREVER’s home lies between continents, identities and meanings – Performance Space 122 is their living room, and they will freak it.

LEWIS FOREVER: Freak the Room features George, Jr., Isabel, and Sarah Lewis, and Eric Green.

LEWIS FOREVER (George Lewis Jr., Isabel Lewis, Ligia Manuela Lewis, and Sarah Lewis), a family collective of two Berlin-based artists and two New York based artists create performances, installations, and videos that provide opportunities to embody ideas and questions surrounding collective versus individual vision, emigration, post-American identity, transient identities, “trans-nationalism”, belonging, longing, and dislocation.

George Jr. is a performance artist/musician based in Brooklyn who blends Rock n’ Roll, theatre, and visual art in his work as an artist jack of all trades; also based in Brooklyn is Isabel, a dance artist and curator. On the Berlin side of the family, there is Ligia Manuela Lewis and Sarah Lewis. Ligia Manuel has worked with esteemed dance artists including Tere O’Conner, Davis Dorfman, Gisele Mason, and the Supremas. Sarah has worked with Todd Fletcher choreographing original musicals “William Tell” and “Streets of Wedding,” and presented two plays at the English Theatre of Berlin. Eric Green is a performer living and working in Berlin, where he has produced several collaborative performance projects and books of poetry; he is the co-founder of ARK, a multidisciplinary organization which develops collaborative initiatives and projects; and he is co-curator of the “Epic” series of performing arts events.

Freak the Room is part of Best of Boroughs: as part of our commitment to promoting excellence in the arts in New York City, PS122 partners with esteemed arts organizations from all over the city to present B.O.B., a tour of the brightest local theatre, dance and performance from the five boroughs.

Original Run: November 30- December 14, 2008
Also playing in the COIL 2009 Festival




Avant-Garde-Arama is Performance Space 122’s biannual mini-festival of performance, dance, music, film, installations and general mayhem. A.G.A brings together emerging and established artists in all disciplines to show off their newest stuff in 8 minutes or less. It was P.S. 122’s first programmed event and has been going strong for 25 years. This April the theme is “Family Values” and will be hosted by downtown it-boy of the moment MR. MURRAY HILL.

Avant-Garde-Arama promotes a free-wheeling festival atmosphere where anything can happen. A special, trademark event of each Avant-Garde-Arama is “Forty Second Street” where, just after intermission, anybody who wants to perform can get up and do their things for 40 seconds!

The Line up for Avant-Garde-Arama Family Values:

Friday April 8th:

  • Shufu Theater
  • Isabel Lewis
  • Gabriel V. Ortiz
  • Rachelle Garniez
  • Beth Kurkjian
  • With Musical Guest LD and the New Criticism

Saturday, April 9th:

  • Yvonne Meier with Gogolorez
  • Tara Madsen
  • Andy Horwitz
  • Gina Varla Vettro and Billy Beyond
  • Raquel Almazan
  • With Musical Guest Paprika

buy tickets now

Friday, April 8th and Saturday, April 9th, 2005



When Performance Space 122 first opened its doors to dancers and performers in 1979, the central event of the week was Open Movement, and later Music/Dance. In 1985 the Open Movement and Music/Dance, sessions and the need for an informal venue where spontaneous dance and music could be explored before an audience, led to the birth of Hothouse , a one of a kind performance series dedicated to improvisation. Curated by DD Dorvillier, Hothouse features month-long showcases of improvisational works. Hothouse brings three to four performers, or groups, together each Sunday to share their latest experiments and culminates in a jam between all of them

The Line up for Hothouse Spring 2005

April 3

  • Melanie Maar
  • Chrystalin Wright
  • Chase Granoff, John Moniaci, &friends

April 10

  • Jennifer Monson and group
  • Brian Moran
  • Isabel Lewis &Erika Hand

April 17

  • Miguel Gutierrez
  • Daria Fain
  • David Appel
  • Kayovon Pourazar

April 24

  • Claire Elizabeth Barrat
  • Michelle Boule
  • Cassie Terman
  • Heather Kravas

Sundays in April at 1pm, 2005

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